Under New Management

All of my family are away at an overnight camp with their classes from school, so that leaves me with a lot of time for reflection…so this is what God has taught me through the quietness of my house and heart…..

I’ve always said that I am the “Manager” of the Vis household. A manager as defined in the dictionary is, “a person who has control or direction of an institution, business”  or in my case a family 🙂 Rod would be the first to admit that I am in control of the everday runnings of our family.  You know, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry.  Of course, not to mention the task of being the schedule keeper, the chaufeur, the tutor, the bank teller, the nurse, the referee, the coach, the confidant, the entertainer…just to name a few.

I must confess, before you think of me as a saint or that dreaded title of “Super Mom”, I am neither of those and I often come up short on being the “Manager of the Year.”  I have my shortcomings and character defects that when mixed with those of my family, leave life, shall I say, a lot to be desired for! Up until now, I belived that God put me in charge of this Motley Crue.  To mange to the best of my ability to be “the manager.” What is the key word in the definition of the word manager?  -CONTROL- What do you do when you realize that you are loosing control or have lost control over a situation? What does the manager do when the institution or business is out of his/her control? Sometimes it takes a lot for that person to even understand that they have come to that point, for you see, the mangers task, mandate is to keep control.

I’ve been in Bolivia for 2 weeks now and my job as manger of the Vis household is under serious scrutiny.  How do I execute the “Vis way of life” in a totally different country and culture?  How can I manage each of my 4 children’s emotions, fears/anxieties when I have a hard time navigating my way through my own? I feel the tangible ability to keep control of my family’s life slipping out of my hands.  Things seem to be unraveling fast.  Nothing major, just the ‘life as we know it’ things are changing dramatically.  My tightly wound life, my somewhat neatly packed ‘manageable’ family is feeling the sting of a new unknown environment….and I can’t control any of it.

Do you know what I’ve been doing because I feel out of control?  I clean….that I can control.  Dust and dirt are no match for me.  I can control that!  So, I’ve been washing and mopping, you name it, just to feel that I have a handle on things. God would have a good sense of humor, though to bring me to probably in my opinion, one of the dustiest places in the world!  It’s everywhere….dust.  I can’t even control the dust in my house.  Oh maybe, for a few hours, but it’s futile trying. So what do I do when I’m out of control and I can’t clean anymore?  I cry.  I cry from exhaustion, from trying to wear the “Vis world” on my shoulders.  I cry from feeling like I’ve let my family down and I’m not the manager they need, or are used to.  I wave my little white flag of surrender up towards heaven….and oddly, I feel a deep sense of peace come over me.

You see, God’s been waiting for me to come to that place.  The end of myself.  The end of the belief that I’m in control.  His Spirit reminds me that I am powerless over my life and my family’s life.  HE is the manager.  I am NOT.  Only God is THE manager and when I forget that, He positions just so to gently remind me of that fact.  My family’s life and hearts are better placed in His hands than in my feeble ones.

I really think I misunderstood my calling.  I was never intended to manage the Vis household.  Instead I am called to model to my children what a God centered, Spirit guided, Gospel fueled life is all about.  I am called to serve my family by spending time on my knees in passionate prayer with the Father. I read this quote the other day from Priscilla Shrier, “While His call might not always be convenient or easy, responding to it should not just be a duty but our joy.”  I have found joy in those precious, sweet hours of prayer. I needed a fresh awakening to the fact that I don’t have to be burdened with the details of controlling things. Instead, I get the awesome privilege of loving and living life to the fullest with Rod, Tyler, Hannah, Carter and Abby. Only God can see the beginning from the end for each one of us.  Now that’s the kind of manager my family needs.  Actually, thats the kind of manager my family and I have.

Thanks be to God for His infinite plan of love, mercy and grace!

2 thoughts on “Under New Management

  1. only when we come out of our comfort zone only then we can see things the way they really are…!!!! only then we can apriciate what we do have that others don’t…! only then we can realize Gods work and only then we can love him even more the way he loves us!!!!

  2. Thank you Jen for this article you have written. It was a real eye opener for me. Being out of work for 2 years now i am the “manager” of my family. I hate not being in control. I struggle with that.
    Thank GOD for HIS love, grace and mercy!!!!!!

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